This Article is From Jun 24, 2011

RTI activist Akhil Gogoi arrested in Guwahati

RTI activist Akhil Gogoi arrested in Guwahati
Guwahati: Two days after leading a protest rally in Guwahati that turned violent, eminent Right to Information (RTI) activist and winner of NDTV's RTI award, Akhil Gogoi was today hauled out by the police from a meeting he had organised at the city Press Club.

Mr Gogoi has been accused of stoking the protests on June 22 against the Assam government's eviction drive - three people including a nine-year-old were killed as the police cracked down on demonstrators with a lathicharge, teargasing and even firing at protesters. (Read: Three die in Guwahati violence)

The police, though, denied firing at the crowd. In fact, it has now charged Mr Gogoi on ten counts of violence including arson and disturbing peace. He could even be charged under the National Security Act.

Meanwhile, there is a growing chorus of support for the RTI activist. Accusing the state government of vendetta, social activist Medha Patkar and others have, in a signed letter, said, "Akhil Gogoi's arrest smacks of vindictive attitude of the Assam government. Punish the guilty police officers for the brutal murder of the protesters".

Mr Gogoi along with several others has been opposing the eviction of people from their homes - a drive which has been underway for a week now.

The RTI activist has already exposed a Rs 1.25-crore scam in the Sampoorna Gram Rozgar Yojana as well as a Rs 60 lakh scam in the Indira Awas Yojana.

This earned him the first National RTI Award in 2009 and also some powerful enemies in the process.